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Today's Stichomancy for Ben Affleck

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:

making capital out of the great man. To Alfred, Albert was a man of genius, of profound politics. The commercial world, enchanted at the success of the /Review/, had to pay up only three-tenths of their shares. Two hundred more subscribers, and the periodical would pay a dividend to the share-holders of five per cent, the editor remaining unpaid. This editing, indeed, was beyond price.

After the third number the /Review/ was recognized for exchange by all the papers published in France, which Albert henceforth read at home. This third number included a tale signed "A. S.," and attributed to the famous lawyer. In spite of the small attention paid by the higher circle of Besancon to the /Review/ which was accused of Liberal views,


Albert Savarus
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:

the field--convinced him, that if the king of Spain and the Emperor went together by the ears, England and France and Holland must, by force of their pre-engagements, all enter the lists too;--and if so, he would say, the combatants, brother Toby, as sure as we are alive, will fall to it again, pell-mell, upon the old prize-fighting stage of Flanders;--then what will you do with your Italian bridge?

--We will go on with it then upon the old model, cried my uncle Toby.

When corporal Trim had about half finished it in that style--my uncle Toby found out a capital defect in it, which he had never thoroughly considered before. It turned, it seems, upon hinges at both ends of it, opening in the middle, one half of which turning to one side of the fosse, and the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:

scrambled up and dashed against her, knocking her over like a blade of grass.

Again she made her cast, while the aroused cattle milled around the four sides of the corral in a plunging mass. This throw was fair; the white cow came to earth again; and before it could rise Santa had made the lasso fast around a post of the corral with a swift and simple knot, and had leaped upon the cow again with the rawhide hobbles.

In one minute the feet of the animal were tied (no record-breaking deed) and Santa leaned against the corral for the same space of time, panting and lax.

And then she ran swiftly to her furnace at the gate and brought the


Heart of the West
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:

stiff manner with which I listened to him. Come, thought I, I must and will get to the bottom of this history; it is like the tale of Sancho's herdsman, which had the faculty of never getting told. So, cutting short my companion's theories of education, I said distinctly:--

"This is a very good time, I think, to continue the confidence you were about to make to me. Here we are sure of no interruption."

"I am afraid I shall prove a poor story-teller," replied Monsieur Dorlange. "I have spent all my fire this very day in telling that tale to Marie-Gaston."

"That," I answered laughing, "is against your own theory of secrecy,